Remember Akon? Well, the American-Senegalese singer isn't so Lonely anymore. In fact, he's building his very own futuristic 'crypto city' complete with solar energy, hospitals, homes and hotels - and everything will function purely on cryptocurrency. Thanks to generous contributions from investors, Akon is set to start with construction of his $6 billion Wakanda-style city. And, it's being built right here on the African continent, in Senegal.
Here's everything you need to know about this exciting development...
What is 'Akon City'?
Since 2018, the Grammy Award nominee has been working to secure investment and development rights to build his futuristic 'crypto city'. The plan was first met with some criticism, but since the release of hit Marvel film, Black Panther, Akon has been able to better explain what he had in mind. In an interview last week, he said that the film helped illustrate to people what Africa could really be like. And, it helped him secure the necessary investment from investors and partners to get the project going. We can certainly see the appeal of a high-tech, traditional African city like Wakanda in real life.
What will 'Akon City' be like?
Because nothing like this has been attempted before, it's difficult to imagine what Akon's vision for this smart city in Senegal really is. But, according to the star, it's going to be quite something. Plans for the city include homes, hotels, schools, as well as a mall and a 5 000 bed hospital. You can also expect police and fire stations, a waste facility and an extensive solar power plant to keep the city running. Renewable energy is an important aspect of this new city, which Akon refers to as a 'sustainable and eco-tourism smart city in Senegal'. And, there's sure to be a host of innovative software development solutions to go with this high-tech city.
Below is a rendered illustration of Akon City...
How will it work?
Another critical aspect of the city is that it will function entirely on cryptocurrency. And which crypto will people be using? Akon's very own Akoin, of course. According to the Akoin website, this is what the currency is all about...
'Akoin is a cryptocurrency powered by a marketplace of tools and services fuelling the dreams of entrepreneurs, business owners, and social activists as they connect and engage across the rising economies of Africa and beyond; created by visionary global artist, change-maker, innovator and humanitarian, Akon.'
Akoin runs on the Stellar blockchain system and Akon's hope is that it becomes a simple method of payment for citizens and entrepreneurs in Akon City. Where most business will be able to be completed on a cell phone.
Singer Akon has become an advocate for cryptocurrencies. He's long since believed that by introducing crypto's to Africa's emerging economies, you help to alleviate some economic strain and avoid the political corruption that affects fiat currencies. In fact, Akon thinks that cryptocurrencies 'could be the saviour for Africa in many ways'. They could help overcome the high inflation that affects many African currencies, as well as curb government mismanagement of funds that also has an impact on a country's economic standing and currency strength. Is crypto the answer Africa is looking for?
When can we move to Akon City?
While construction has begun, and some claim that the complex is already 85% complete, the initial phase of the build won't be finalised until 2023. And it's expected that the whole of Akon City, entirely adapted to Akoin cryptocurrency, will be up and running by 2029. A little over 8 years to go!
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What do you think of Akon's ambition? Do you agree that cryptocurrencies could help solve some of Africa's economic challenges and political corruption? Let us know in the comments section below.